Vice-chairman Karren Brady has lifted the lid on a massive decision looming this Thursday which has ramifications for West Ham United.
The Premier League will resume on June 17th, three months after it was shut down amid the global health crisis.
West Ham sit 16th in the table with nine games remaining.
The restart will kick off with the two outstanding games in hand being played. Aston Villa takes on Sheffield United while Manchester City host Arsenal.
Restart fraught with tension on and off the pitch
A win for Villa would lift them out of the relegation zone and above West Ham, pushing the Hammers down to 17th. And things would be excruciatingly tight. West Ham, Watford and Bournemouth are all on 27 points and only separated by goal difference.
But there is a bigger picture to the specific fixture rescheduling. With all teams on the same number of games, it will make season curtailment possible should the government shutdown sport again.
There were three realistic potential outcomes of how the season will be decided. A points per game basis, a weighted points per game solution and a straight cut off as things stand.
As things stand – and regardless of Villa’s result in theri games against Sheffield United – West Ham would be safe in the first and last of those scenarios but would be relegated by the weighted method.
Brady reveals massive decision looms this week
But that could all change depending on results once games get underway again.
West Ham vice-chair Brady has now revealed a huge meeting looms large this Thursday where curtailment plans will be decided.
Brady says the league is recommending the straightforward points-per-game method.
Speaking in The Sun, Brady has suggested she will fight proposals to decide the season with formulas instead of football.
“Well at that point (if the government shuts down sport again) the season will be curtailed, and the Premier League are recommending a points-per-game formula to decide the award of places,” Brady told The Sun.
“This is a straightforward model whereby a team’s number of points is simply divided by the number of matches they have played. The resulting figure is the average number of points each team has earned in each match of the season so far.
Vice-chairman suggests West Ham will fight formula plans
“And on this calculation three teams will be relegated — what a heartbreaking end to the most unfortunate season in history. Considering this method will be adopted into the rules and used in all future seasons — so if your club is not affected right now it might be in the future as this Covid-19 does not seem to be going away — this has to be debated and agreed by at least 14 clubs.
“That is the number of votes the Premier League need to change a rule. After a long meeting it was decided to leave this to discuss at the next meeting, scheduled for Thursday.
“Then, every club will have had time to consider its view with its own board on the proposal. So, I guess, on that basis the next meeting will take even longer than the last one. As myself and a number of other clubs are reluctant to decide a future Premier League shareholder’s fate by a formula rather than a football match.”